Chapter 4: Strategy 2: Peer tutoring
Please rate yourself or a teacher you have closely observed.
You regularly set up peer tutoring in which one learner (a ‘tutor’) provides learning experiences for another learner (a ‘tutee’). Such tutoring is mainly used to promote fluency through practising or reviewing skills or knowledge. The tutors are taught to follow a structured lesson format. Each dyad works for no more than 10 minutes at a time for 8–10 sessions.
Mitchell, 2014, pp47–57.
Learning together: See peer tutoring in action. (9.32 US)
Teachers and students explain and advocate for peer tutoring. Includes classroom observations.
PALS: Peer-assisted learning strategies – OERP partnership case studies. (6.56 Canada)
PALS is a supplementary reading programme for primary students who are struggling with reading. Researchers from Queen’s University in Canada worked with teachers and administrators at the Thunder Bay Catholic District Schools to assess the impact of PALS both on teaching practice and learning outcomes.
Peer tutoring program (Australia)
Peer-to-peer tutoring (India)
Pals: A reading strategy for Grades 2–6.
This module outlines the benefits of implementing PALS for Grades 2–6, a peer tutoring strategy in which students work in pairs to strengthen their reading skills. Also included are step-by-step instructions for each of the three PALS activities, as well as printable PALS materials.
Pals: A reading strategy for Grades K–1.
This module outlines the benefits of implementing PALS for Grades K–1, a peer tutoring strategy in which students work in pairs to strengthen their reading skills. Also included are step-by-step instructions for each of the PALS activities, as well as printable PALS materials.
PALS: A reading strategy for high school.
This module outlines the benefits of implementing PALS for high school, a peer tutoring strategy in which students work in pairs to strengthen their reading skills. Also included are step-by-step instructions for each of the three PALS activities, as well as printable PALS materials.
Kalkowski, P. Peer and cross-age tutoring. In School Improvement Research Series (SIRS). NW Regional Education Laboratory.
Presents definitions of peer tutoring and reviews the research literature, particularly relating to high-needs students.
Mentoring and Befriending Foundation (2010). A review of the evidence base of the benefits of peer mentoring in schools including findings from the MBF Outcomes Measurement Programme. Manchester.
The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation (MBF) is a national charity that works to support, develop and grow mentoring and befriending programmes throughout England.
Mentoring Resource Center (2008). Building effective peer mentoring programs in schools: An introductory guide.
Cross-age peer mentoring has proven to be highly effective in developing mentors and mentees alike. This guide explores strategies for creating and enhancing peer mentoring programmes.
Topping, K.J. (2005). ‘Trends in peer learning’. Educational Psychology, 25(6), 631–645.
Developments in forms of peer learning in the period 1981–2006 are reviewed, focusing mainly on peer tutoring, cooperative learning and peer assessment. Types and definitions of peer learning are explored, together with questions of implementation integrity and consequent effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Benefits to helpers are now emphasised at least as much as benefits to those helped.
Sperry, L., Neitzei, J. and Engelhardt-Wells, K. (2010). ‘Peer-mediated instruction and intervention strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders’. Preventing School Failure, 54(4), 256–264.
In this intervention approach, developing peers are typically taught ways to interact with and help children and youth with autism spectrum disorders acquire new social skills by increasing social opportunities in natural environments. The authors outline how educational environments can be developed that are conducive to peer-mediated instruction and intervention. In addition, they present strategies for the careful selection and systematic instruction of typically developing peers as intervention agents. They also present examples of empirically based methods of applying peer-mediated strategies across the age range.